The Best Small Business Accounting Software 2022

What Is Accounting Software And How Does It Work?

Gerri Detweiler

Accounting software allows small business owners to record the financial transactions of their business for tax and accounting purposes. More importantly it can help you produce financial statements, cash flow insights and other tools to help you understand the financial health of your business. 

Most accounting software today will let you import transactions from your business bank account and to automate certain tasks. You’ll be able to create and track invoices, inventory and accounts receivable or payable. Many will offer additional services such as payroll and the ability to accept payments online (ACH or credit cards) from customers. 

If your bookkeeping is up to date, you can produce financial statements to get insights into financial performance or to help your business qualify for small business loans.

Note that while we use the word “software” here most of these programs are cloud accounting programs which means there is no software to install on your computer, and you can access your accounts from anywhere. Mobile accounting apps can make it even easier to stay up-to-date on

Why Does Every Small Business Need Accounting Software?

It’s possible for a very small business with few expenses and little income to get by without accounting software. Tax preparation software may be sufficient to report business profit and loss on tax returns. And other tasks, like creating and tracking invoices, can be done manually. 

But that creates extra work and you’re likely to make mistakes. 

For the large majority of small businesses, accounting software will be essential to make sure revenues and expenses are tracked properly. Tax time will be a lot easier as well, whether you do it yourself or hire an accounting professional. The sooner you set up your accounting software, the easier it will be to track how your business is performing. 

You can hire a bookkeeper or accountant to set up accounting software for you, but it’s smart to maintain control of the account so you can review information and retain the option to change accounting professionals if you choose.

There are many accounting software programs available, including some that are specialized to specific industries. Most small businesses, however, will be able to find a good solution from the following top 5 accounting softwares. The best small business accounting software is ultimately the one you use. 

Quickbooks

Intuit Quickbooks is a popular accounting software program and it comes in several versions including Quickbooks Online, Quickbooks Self Employed and Quickbooks Online Advanced. You can also purchase additional products such as payroll, payments and time tracking. 

While there can be a steeper learning curve, many accountants and bookkeepers use Quickbooks and the company can refer you to certified professionals who can help you set up your chart of accounts, complete your bookkeeping or provide other accounting services.

Pro Small Business Accounting Software by Intuit

QuickBooks Pro makes accounting easy – with tools to organize your finances all in one Learn More

Xero

Popular with very small businesses, Xero is an affordable accounting program with a robust mobile app.

Sage Accounting

Sage is one of the original accounting software programs and offers plans for very small businesses as well as growing and medium sized businesses. It’s based in the UK, and though it has many users in the US, there are times when it can be somewhat confusing for those users. Your accountant, on the other hand, may know and love Sage.

Sage Accounting

Sage aims to transform the way people think and work, enabling organizations to thrive. Every Learn More

Freshbooks

Freshbooks is known for its robust invoicing tools, but it’s also an affordable cloud double-entry accounting solution that’s especially popular with freelancers and independent contractors. But it can be used by businesses with employees, too, and it has added features such as a customizable chart of accounts.

FreshBooks: Small Business Cloud Accounting Software

The best cloud based small business accounting software. Send invoices, track time, manage receipts, expenses, Learn More

Wave

Offering free invoicing and accounting has helped Wave stand out from the competition. Wave makes money with optional paid products: payroll, payment processing and advice. It’s easy to use and can be a solid option for startups and very small businesses.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is online accounting software with a strong focus on automation and workflow. It offers numerous pricing plans including a free level for businesses with $50,000 annual revenue or less. The free level is quite robust and includes tools such as automated payment reminders, online payments and bank reconciliation. Zoho Books can also integrate with Zoho CRM, a customer relation management system.

Cheapest Small Business Accounting Software

The cheapest accounting softwares for small businesses are Wave or the Zoho Books free plan for businesses with less than $50,000 annual revenues. Both are free, unless you need to add paid services (such as payroll) or upgrade to a paid plan (in the case of Zoho Books). 

Of the two, Zoho Book’s free plan offers more accounting tools and app integrations, but Wave doesn’t cap revenues for the free plan. While both are a good choice for some micro businesses and sole proprietors, growing businesses may discover they need a more robust solution. 

It will be easier to move from Zoho Books free accounting plan to a paid version. If your business accounting needs become more sophisticated and you outgrow Wave, you may have to switch accounting software.

Easiest Small Business Accounting Software

Freshbooks, Wave and Zoho Books are all recognized for their ease of use. They have easy to use interfaces that make it simple for entrepreneurs (including new business owners) to get started. 

If you are going to hire a bookkeeper or accounting professional to help you with bookkeeping or taxes, they will need to be familiar with the accounting software you use so be sure to talk to them about the solution that makes sense for your business. It’s also possible to hire a professional to help you set up your accounting software and provide basic training if you prefer to do your own bookkeeping.

FreshBooks: Small Business Cloud Accounting Software

The best cloud based small business accounting software. Send invoices, track time, manage receipts, expenses, Learn More

Most Comprehensive Small Business Accounting Software

Quickbooks is probably the most comprehensive and scalable accounting solution for small businesses. It offers a variety of upgrades to provide the business with the solutions it needs as it grows.

Pro Small Business Accounting Software by Intuit

QuickBooks Pro makes accounting easy – with tools to organize your finances all in one Learn More

Can You Use Excel for Bookkeeping?

If you have very simple and limited business income and expenses, if you are familiar with accounting principles, or if you are working with a bookkeeper who will enter your information into accounting software, then you may be able to work from Excel or Google Sheets. 

For most small businesses, though, it’s wise to start with an accounting software program that will allow you to track your business’ financial activities and monitor your business financial health.